YSA Week 2 Update, Dr. Rob

Hi Everyone,

Another exciting week at YSA with our first experiment starting examining the role of temperature on the development of jellyfish polyps.  If you visit WAAS, you will see various ‘Experiment In Progress’ signs hanging on our incubators, please feel free to swing by and have your child show you the experiment 🙂  Each incubator has box jellyfish and sea nettle jellyfish polyps held at four temperatures – 10, 15, 20 and 26C.  We took our first timepoint today and we will continue to take measurements for at least the next month. I will start posting updates on the YSA website and fb page.  The ultimate goal is for the students to present the findings of this experiment at the CERF scientific conference in Providence RI this November (http://www.erf.org/cerf-2017-biennial-conference).  More details soon on fundraising opportunities to raise funds to support student travel to this conference.
We also continued our plans to build our Linux based computer server.  I will start ordering the parts this weekend with the aim of starting to build this system as a group on Thursday.  We discussed today that we are going to use this computer for our scientific research, and will be having the students start some computer coding exercises on Codecademy in the coming weeks.  We will also start practicing some graphing, mapping (using ArcGIS) and statistical exercises using data from our experiments.
Lastly, a reminder that on Monday we will have our first field trip to the salt marsh (see images below). Thanks again to the Bostick family for their generous offer to access to their property. I’m really excited about the science we are going to perform as a group, and I’m planning on employing this fieldwork as a regular item of YSA.  I will send out more details tomorrow in terms of what to wear and bring on the field trip, as well as rules and regulations that we will observe as a group.  The plan is to perform regular transects of the marsh, recording seasonality in plant and animal distributions, performing sediment cores for organics, and flying the drone to 3D map the salt marsh……yes Josiah I got the drone working again 🙂  We will also look at the intertidal communities living on the dock pilings, repeating some of the classical ecological studies.  Should be fun!  We will take lots of video and images of the trip, Varun has volunteered to wear the GoPro!
Thanks again and please let me know if you have any questions.
Best wishes
Dr Rob
Rob Condon, PhD
Executive Director,
Young Scientist Academy (501c3 non-profit)